Car Reviews

Compared: The New EV Hotness

Compared: The New EV Hotness We take a look at the two major debuts of electric crossovers at the LA Auto Show By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | November 2019 This week's Los Angeles Auto Show saw the debut of two vehicles that portent a big future for a new segment, the all-electric crossover. While one was a production vehicle and the other a concept, both help to illustrate the respective visions of each of their brands of what the electrified future of the auto industry will look like. One of the most hotly anticipated debuts of the week was the Ford Mustang Mach-E, a new vehicle that combines the sportiness of its namesake with the utility of a crossover, and the Mach-E's electric drivetrain actually supports both of these missions. While there's a flurry of current activity among luxury EV crossovers, especially from Europe, when the Mach-E hits the market in late 2020 it will likely be the first entry of decent size from a mainstream brand—the Hyundai Kona being too small for many buyers. That likelihood depends on the timing of Volkswagen's ID.4, another all-electric SUV from a brand that wants to own the EV space in the U.S. market. But the ID.4 will likely be positioned at the lower end of the market, a bit above the company's Tiguan compact crossover, which starts in the mid-$20,000 range. [...]

2019-11-28T13:46:24-05:00 Nov 2019|Car Reviews|

Nissan’s all-new 2020 Versa Sedan

Nissan’s all-new 2020 Versa Sedan - "The sedan is the middle finger *" * The above ‘analysis’ is attributed to Nissan design chief Alfonso Albaisa, in an article by trade publication Automotive News By Dave Boldt, Contributor, Car-ED.com | November 2019 Although the sedan may be DOA in Detroit – and is most certainly dead in Lordstown, Ohio – there’s still a 4-door pulse in Asian boardrooms; of course, having charted their rise in the U.S. with a commitment to competent sedans, you can’t blame Honda, Toyota and Nissan for riding this horse for as long as its upright. Recent research from the folks at Nissan, however, suggest that the 4-door sedan, long ignored by Boomers and their offspring, might be enjoying a revival in the 18-34 age group. And as Mr. Albaisa suggests, the historically prosaic sedan might be evolving into a generational statement relative to the folks’ SUV, crossover or minivan. To underscore its commitment, Nissan has recently unveiled redesigns of its midsize Altima and compact Versa, with a new Sentra waiting – probably breathlessly – in the wings. The recently driven Altima might finally be a reasonable alternative to those that reflexively shop Accord or Camry. While its mix of style, accessibility and efficiency doesn’t necessarily beat the Honda or Toyota, it’s now a viable alternative to those hoping for an alternative. I wish its turbocharged engine could be had with [...]

2019-11-28T02:54:14-05:00 Nov 2019|Car Reviews|

2020 Hyundai Palisade – First Drive

2020 Hyundai Palisade The Hyundai Palisade is a three-row midsize SUV that straddles the line between value and luxury. By Nick Kurczewski, Contributor, Car-ED.com | July 2019 Hyundai is getting into the thick of the midsize SUV battle with the brand new Palisade. As the replacement for the Santa Fe XL, the Palisade is pitted against rivals like the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Subaru Ascent, Volkswagen Atlas, and Kia Telluride. What is this vehicle? The 2020 Hyundai Palisade is the latest entry in the growing field of midsize SUVs with three rows of seating. There is room for seven or eight passengers, depending on whether you order the standard second-row bench seat, or optional dual captain's chairs. The Palisade is offered in three main trim levels: SE, SEL, and Limited. Pricing starts at around $32,000 for the entry-level model, though this jumps significantly when you climb up to the Limited trim, which stickers for more than $44,000. That's a lot of money, though it's worth noting the Limited comes loaded with comfort and safety features, including Nappa leather seating, 20-inch alloy wheels, blind spot monitors, heated and ventilated front and second-row seats, a power-folding third row, surround-view cameras, a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, and much more. No matter which trim you choose, the Palisade comes in front-wheel drive format and is powered by a 291-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6 coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Adding [...]

2019-11-28T02:52:57-05:00 Jul 2019|Car Reviews|

2019 Buick Envision AWD Premium II

2019 Buick Envision AWD Premium II For a taste of the premium life, without as much of the price By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | June 2019 The 2019 Buick Envision presents a solid value for someone who wants a decent number of bells and whistles, but who would rather not pay the full price of entry to the world of luxury brands. You may give up a small measure of premium feel, but the value that the Envision presents is undeniable. What is this vehicle? The Envision filled the gaping hole in Buick's lineup between the tiny Encore crossover and the Enclave 3-row utility. It occupies a sweet spot in the market, competing with the wide array of small-to-medium CUVs from both luxury brands and mainstream ones. It's a two-row crossover that has plenty of room inside for most types of people, or for a bored dog on a road trip. The Envision has lots of luxury features available, and for less than you'd have to pay for them on an Acura or a Lexus, but it does show some more humble roots sometimes. Who is this vehicle for? The Envision is for families who need room for all their members and their accompanying stuff, and would like to haul them in style. By now crossovers have taken over the bulk of the market for several reasons, including their cargo flexibility [...]

2019-06-11T20:02:11-05:00 Jun 2019|Car Reviews|

2019 VW Jetta GLI

2019 VW Jetta GLI For shoppers that like the GTI but want a sedan By Andres Valbuena, Partner, Car-ED.com | March 2019 The 2019 Jetta GLI is a great choice for the shopper that wants performance and style. The new MQB platform is excellent and brings technology updates including the GTI powertrain to this sedan. If you want to make your commute more fun and save thousands over the luxury brands, then definitely take a look at this new Jetta GLI. What is this vehicle? The Jetta GLI first launched in the 80's as the MK1. Back then, it used the same engine as the GTI and also included some better bolstered seats, sport suspension, and other performance tweaks. It was fun to drive and was a great performance version of the Jetta. That same formula carried onto the second generation but then it lost its way in the MK3, including its name. In 2005, the original formula came to be again with the MK4 and carried onto the MK5. That formula of using the same equipment as the GTI kept those performance sedan customers smiling. With the Mk6 Jetta, there were changes made to the platform that impacted the base driving characteristics. Because the Jetta was redesigned towards a lower cost vehicle, some of that cost cutting naturally carried into the GLI. No longer was it a GTI with a trunk. It [...]

2019-06-11T20:04:18-05:00 Mar 2019|Car Reviews|

2020 Toyota Corolla

2020 Toyota Corolla With a clear vision, the 2020 Corolla is Greater than Ever By Kevin Joostema, Partner, Car-ED.com | February 2019 The 2020 Toyota Corolla brings a long list of technology updates and new engine choices to its major cycle refresh that allow it to continue to be a wise choice to get you through the grind of daily life.   Whether it is your trip to high school, to college, your commute to work, daily runs to the grocery store and Target or even Starbucks runs,  the Corolla provides a safe and secure feeling to leave home with and return every day. What is this vehicle? As the best-selling nameplate in the world, the Toyota Corolla vision is to offer a model for everyone.  It is only fitting then that this is among the first 2020 model year vehicles to appear.  Yes, that’s right, the 2020’s are here! It has been over 50 years since the first Corolla introduction in 1966.  The Corolla is the compact sedan offer from Toyota – and became the best selling model in the world back in 1997 – surpassing the VW Beetle.  The 2020 model is the 12th generation and over 46 million have been sold worldwide.  The Corolla, along with the Honda Civic and the Hyundai Elantra and to a lesser extent the VW Jetta, define the continuum of the Compact Sedan segment in the US [...]

2019-02-27T13:48:21-05:00 Feb 2019|Car Reviews|

First Drive: 2019 Mazda6

2019 Mazda 6 Grand Touring The Mazda6 sedan is more than a pretty face. With sharp-handling, a classy cabin, and optional turbo four-cylinder, the Mazda6 is both entertaining and economical. By Nick Kurczewski, Contributor, Car-ED.com | Jan 2019 Can a family sedan be kind to your car shopping budget, but still provide actual excitement when you're behind the wheel? The Mazda6 is engaging to drive, but remains a high-value proposition when faced against rivals like the Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry, and Nissan Altima. What is this vehicle? The 2019 Mazda6 is a sedan that wants to prove you don't need to sacrifice driving excitement for practicality. For many car shoppers, the default choice when shopping for a new vehicle is a compact to midsize SUV. With that in mind, Mazda has several great alternatives (CX-5, CX-9) if you're determined to buy a sport-utility. Yet, when it comes to taking on rivals like the highly-regarded Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, the Mazda6 presents a unique spin on the traditional family sedan. That's because this midsize four-door has sharp handling that pays more than a passing resemblance to Mazda's own MX-5 Miata sports car. The 6 is much bigger and doesn't have a folding convertible top, of course. But there is an energetic personality lurking beneath the surface of this elegant Mazda sedan. And while we're talking about surfaces, let's point out that [...]

2019-02-11T18:13:31-05:00 Jan 2019|Car Reviews|

LA Auto Show: White Space Crossovers

LA Auto Show: White Space Crossovers Brands are eager to fill out their CUV lineups. By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | December 2018 Sport utilities, particularly crossover vehicles on car-based platforms (as opposed to rugged truck-based SUVs), have continued to take over the passenger car market. By the end of October of last year, automakers had sold 15% more utilities than cars. Over that same period this year that advantage has grown to 42%! There's no sign of this trend abating, which means that the industry continues to pour resources into developing new utilities to fill every possible niche. But good ideas are contagious, so there are definitely plenty of commonalities in the vehicles that are hitting the market. At the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show there were several brand new utilities on display that buyers should check out. The first two that we'll highlight have similar missions for their brands. The Chevrolet Blazer and Honda Passport each revive names from the past that recall the era in which SUVs first started to gain prominence. The original Blazer and Passport were 5-seater midsized truck-based SUVs, competitors to the popular Ford Explorer and Nissan Pathfinder from the '90s. These new-for-'19 models follow a similar formula, in that they're midsized and ready for the dirt trails, though both are car-based, which allows for better space and fuel efficiency. The third vehicle that deserves attention in this [...]

2018-12-20T14:08:35-05:00 Dec 2018|Car Reviews|

First Impressions: 2019 Infiniti QX50 Essential

2019 Infiniti QX50 Essential This luxury crossover plays it pretty safe... until it comes to pricing. By Cherise Threewitt, Contributor, Car-ED.com | October 2018 The Infiniti QX50, a compact crossover, disappeared from the market after 2017. Now it’s back with a full redesign and an interesting new engine. We had the chance to check out a loaded Infiniti QX50 at the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) Fall Rally in early October. Here are our first impressions.  The QX50 looks good inside and out, and it’s comfortable to drive. The seats are comfortable and easy to adjust. The display is in a nice spot on the dash, which makes it easy to see the navigation system because it’s in the shade. The downside of that is that the infotainment screen is uncomfortably low (below the navigation display) and it sometimes feels like you’re looking too far off the road. Our test vehicle featured a two-tone interior with an unusual color combination of cream and an odd grayish-brown — not our favorite, but easy enough to change. Overall, visibility is good, but the QX50 has a sculpted hood that creeps up into view and can be kind of distracting. Probably something you’d get used to over time, or find a different seating position to compensate. Infiniti powers the QX50 with an all-new engine, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with variable compression, paired with a [...]

2018-10-29T06:52:31-05:00 Oct 2018|Car Reviews|

First Impressions: 2018 Ford Expedition Max Platinum

2018 Ford Expedition Max Platinum How big of an SUV do you need, really? By Cherise Threewitt, Contributor, Car-ED.com | October 2018 The Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) Fall Rally, which took place in October at the Autobahn Country Club southwest of Chicago, gave car-ED the opportunity to check out a bunch of vehicles we might not have otherwise seen. The 2018 Ford Expedition Max Platinum caught our attention — how could it not? The largest version of this large SUV dominated the vehicle parking area. It’s understandable that this Expedition wasn’t allowed out on the track, so we hopped in and headed out to the country roads that surround the country club. Based on that brief drive, here are our thoughts on this super-sized version of the Expedition. The Ford Expedition, the brand’s large, traditional SUV, is available in three trim levels, all of which can be upgraded to the extended-wheelbase Max. Thus, the Max Platinum is the top-tier Expedition with extra passenger room and an additional 15 cubic feet of cargo space. It’s huge, yet comfortable and surprisingly easy to handle. The overall vibe of the Expedition’s cabin is rather masculine, thanks to black leather upholstery, dark trim, and a beefy steering wheel. The seats are extremely comfortable, which is nice, and there are some touches that help lighten everything up, such as a massive panoramic moonroof and a stylish [...]

2018-10-29T06:53:00-05:00 Oct 2018|Car Reviews|
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